Elizabeth Taylor had the most fabulous jewels but the one I covet is not any of the diamonds, pearls and goose egg emeralds but the necklace above.
It is just a bit of gold and a few bits of ivory but the associations make it for me priceless. The necklace was commissioned by Edith Head the famous Hollywood dress designer who designed Grace Kelly's wedding dress which influenced the dress worm by Kate Middleton at this year's wedding of the year.
The necklace is simply a collection of Opera Tokens that were used by the London theaters in the second half of the 19 century to denote the occupiers of the box named on the night of the month. You bought a box on a certain night for a season. That is what I find so fascinating. I love opera, I love Covent Garden, I love dress design and I love jewelry.
This was Head's signature necklace which she wore daily and eventually left it to Elizabeth Taylor and that is why it came up among the sale of her major jewels at Christie's New York last night.
Tantalizingly Christies suggested price range was well within reach just US$1,500/2000 and I did dream. I reckon that if it did not have the associations that it was worth more than that in gold alone. I actually went as far as to contact Christies about making a bid.
I would have gone to US $15,000 including buyer's premium. My DVD sales are good and I have a few spare US dollars which will only lose value. In truth my bid was well over the top for what the necklace is actually worth with no associations and I doubt if it will hold its price. Famous personalities soon disappear into oblivion in the sands of time and although the great personalities may be remembered Edith Head is not one of them, even Elizabeth Taylor is suspect.
I thought better of it! Other than leave the necklace to Auckland Museum I have little use for it as I seldom go out these days but I was interested to see what it fetched - a staggering US $314,500! It was on at Number 3 of the evening's sale . Christies placed it well to get maximum price. If it had been tucked into one of the lesser sales four days later I could have been in with a chance.
But at least I have my dream although I lost out to a higher bidder I tried and lost but at least I tried. If I were young I should collect the opera tokens and 'do it myself' as it seems I always have to do. I am a great collector. Like Taylor I have charm bracelets galore but I am older and wiser now so I won't but I may have something similar made if I can think of a substitute for the tokens.